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Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.(16 posts)

Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.Dougfrippon
Apr 30, 2003 6:27 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm 19yrs old and never before I had the time or money to start doing some serious biking.

Let's say Biking is the only sports I REALLY like, thats why I want to get serious at it. I use to do around 2000km/year with an old dirty and heavy bike... before it breaks. Now it has been about 2 years I'm doing ZERO sports.. I'm 6feet4inch and 170lbs... I feel like I'm going to die before 30years old :).

I first subscribed at a fitness club 2 weeks ago but I want more.. I need a nice road bike that could keep me up in good shape.

I never really bought that kind of thing before and found it pretty difficult to make a good decision.. First, let's say I can put up to 1700$[USD] (tx included) on the Bike/equipment combo. I'm going to use the bike each time I can. I hope I could be able to do about 200km/week at first and surely more when I start recovering health and muscles.. :).

Here is what models that would interest me :
-Devinci, podium (pretty nice one I just dont like the color so much)
-Cannondale R800
-Specialized Allex Sport (I like that one but seems like no store got that brand around here..)
-Bianchi (I forgot the model but the bike was about 933$(USD), color was red and what made it interesting was the frame.. a vendor told me Bianchi was using a high quality frame for this specific model.. well anyway)
-Also anything in those price that you guys could advise me.

The Devinci podium is pretty much the maximum money I can put on the bike considering I have over 350$ of equipment to pay.

Also I could wait maybe one more month to buy the bike to have something better, but would it worth it?

Oh ONE last thing.
Like I said earlier, when I was younger I never had the time and money to do some real biking, but one of my dream has always been doing road bike competitions and with this idea in mind, I think that maybe in two years I could start competitionning a bit. If this come true I would surely change and invest more on another bike, but I must say I am buying a bike right now with this idea in mind.

Sorry for the long post.. and for my mistakes (english is my 2nd language) but I'm not asking you to answer EACH of my questions.. I just ask for a bit of help. :D
come on, help this guy out. Don't just read and move on!blakester
Apr 30, 2003 8:26 PM
Your English is good, do not worry. I just started road biking too. I suggest you go to your local Biek shop (LBS) if you have one around, and get fitted for what size frame you'll need in what brands. Once you know the size and price range, jsut start looking at different models. Figure out what you want in terms of a double or TRiple Crankset. You can test ride a variety of models, and often find a discount on eBay or other online bike selling places, including the classifieds here. I would imagine that most $1000+ bikes will be raceable, and you could always upgrade things like your wheelset and shifters later one, while keeping the same frame that fits you. I was able to get a $1500-$2000 bike on eBay for $850, because I knew what models I wanted, and what sizes fit me, and I just waited for a deal to show up. This page has more advice for you to look into: http://fairhavenbike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=78

Hope this helps!
re: Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.cipolini2b
Apr 30, 2003 8:36 PM
Hey there,

6'4", 170lbs??? You've got the body of a cyclist thats for sure, you just got to get some muscle, and a little weight as well. I'm 20 years old, and just got into the sport about three years ago. I had 1200 to spend, and picked up a Cannondale Caad4. My advice is to be patient, and wait for a good deal to come your way. All the bikes on your list are good one, but I've had great experiences with cannondale, and still ride one, so I reccomend the R800. I should mention that I bought mine used. Get a used bike! You will get way more bike for the money.

Aram
All good bikes...rwbadley
Apr 30, 2003 8:42 PM
You might look into getting a fixed gear or "fixie" bike. These fixies are so much fun they oughta be outlawed. Not expensive, any decent (probably old steel) road frame can be 'fixed'. Start off easy and get used to it. Before long you will be amazed at your spin, stamina, and strength.

You'll go out and spin with the fast guys, then start hammering on one of 'em to sell you that ugly old Colnago cheap...since he obviously isn't using it (snicker) Go to the fixie board and soak it up a bit. No need to spend hard earned cash when you don't have to... you may need that $ for girls or school, or a downpayment on a house, or retirement (kryse, how old am I? :-)

RW
All good suggestionssctri
Apr 30, 2003 9:19 PM
I would personally recommend the devinchi, I almost ended up on one of their bikes (but the deal with a team/sponsor fell through, long story) and they are excellent quality, definitally raceable and equiped nicely.

Good luck

RC
re: Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.gtx
Apr 30, 2003 9:33 PM
At 6' 4" you might have trouble finding something that fits right. Here's a good post on fit:

Kerry "Need help on frame size" 3/24/03 6:43pm

And this guy should have lots of good bikes in your price range:

http://www.gvhbikes.com
re: Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.Franchise
Apr 30, 2003 10:23 PM
Try buying used first. Since you are looking down the road to purchase another bike for racing, go ahead and buy used now. You can find reasonable deals, and save your money for down the road.

Just remember that whatever bike you buy, you still need to leave money for a helmet, shorts and jerseys, tools and a pump, and other accessories. Make sure you know the ballpark of prices to look for. Good luck with your purchase
re: Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.aliensporebomb
May 1, 2003 3:02 AM
Hello!

Remember that along with the bike you will likely need at
least one jersey, one good pair of padded bike shorts,
shoes (if you plan on going clipless) as well as cycling
socks and cycling gloves. This adds to the expense but
jerseys, socks and gloves are fairly inexpensive items.
Another must-have is a good helmet. Don't skim on helmets
and shorts - you'll thank me later.

Whatever bike you get, ride the heck out of it and keep us
posted as to your progress!
I'm familiar with the Bianchi...Spunout
May 1, 2003 3:36 AM
They re-painted some 2002 model overruns from the top of the line models, put Campy Mirage on it and are selling it in the mid range.

I would not consider a compact frame for someone of your height.

Save some money for some good shoes, helmet, clothing too. Once you're ready, go out and ride!
re: Need tips on buying my very first *true* road bike.pitt83
May 1, 2003 4:26 AM
My best advice came when I bought a quality mountain bike (I know; other board!). I was looking at XTR/XT, shiferts, deraileur, etc. The shop owner asked me to look at a high quality, hand built frame with LX and SRAM instead. I KNEW I wanted the Specialized when I went into the store and was sure about that! Until I took the test ride; then his advice was obvious. The Rocky Mtn. was far better in ride quality because of the attention in the frame.

The heart of a good bike is in the frame. Figure that out first. Size, materials and quality matter there. Then worry about components (not that it doesn't matter; it matters less than frame). Shimano better than 105 or Campy better then Veloce is great stuff, DuraAce and Record are nice, but add less value than a good frame. If next year you need a $50 deraileur, you still love your bike.

Try the fitting at www.wrenchscience.com ; It's amazingly close to a professional fitting. If your LBS does the professional fit for free if you buy a bike there; take that offer.

From your picks, the Devinci seems best, followed closely by the R800. My Allez was a good bike for 6000 miles, but a harsh ride. You could consider a LeMond, but the sizes are different enough that you should be sure you like the fit.
first biketarwheel
May 1, 2003 4:55 AM
If this is your first road bike, I would recommend buying through a local bike shop or at least having a professional fitting done at a shop. You'll probably have to pay for the fitting, but it's well worth the money, and most shops will deduct the cost of the fitting if you buy a bike from them. Talk to knowledgable cyclists in your area for recommendations on the best shops. Buy the bike that fits you best within your price range. Color, frame material and components are all secondary considerations. The advantage to going through a good shop is that they should do the best job of fitting you to the correct sized frame. Plus, most shops will let you swap out components like stems, saddles and cassettes until you get the right mix for you. Finding the right stem and saddle make a huge difference in how well a bike fits, and you can spend a small fortune buying these parts. Most shops will swap cassettes on a new bike if you need something with a tighter or wider gear range.

Having bought several used bikes, I would not recommend that route unless you have a fitting done first and carefully study the geometry and sizing of different makes and models. For example, a size 56 Trek is very different in size from a size 56 Merckx. Seat tube angles and other factors can make a big difference in proper fit. Unless you've really studied up on these issues, it is easy to buy the wrong sized bike. Buying used can be a mine field. You can search for months and months trying to find the correct size in models you are looking for. The best selection is found on eBay and other on-line sources, but then you run the risk of buying sight unseen. I searched for a used Eddy Merckx frame in my size for over a year. During that time, I found and purchased 2 used frames that turned out to have crash damage once I received and examined them. I was able to get my money refunded in both cases, but it was a major hassle. I finally ended up buying a new frame from a reputable shop and it was worth the additional money. Another issue with used bikes is that you almost certainly will have to replace parts -- like the stem, saddle, cassette, tires -- once you receive it. A bike shop will do this for free or minimal cost. Finally, a used bike has no warranty.

Buying a used bike or a new one from a mail-order or on-line business is great if you know your correct size and are familiar with the sizes and geometries of different makes. You can get some great deals and the selection is definitely better than most cyclists can find in their local shops. But you lose the personal touch and service that you get from a LBS.
LBS- I second that emotionfiltersweep
May 1, 2003 6:21 AM
Go to a shop with a good return policy- like 30 days. You probably really won't know what you need or what you are looking for, and a test ride just won't quite cut it. Don't let a shop sell you something that doesn't fit simply because they have it in stock.

If you get an AL frame, get a carbon fork and at least 105 components. $1500 is right where the bang for the buck begins- IMHO.
Third that emotionBrianNYC
May 1, 2003 11:50 AM
Prior to buying my road bike late last summer, I asked for advice on this board, and the advice was uniform - find an LBS that you are comfortable with, are trust worthy, have a good reputation....and go with that choice. I followed that advice, found a great LBS (also from input on RBR), got an incredible bike, perfectly fitted, at a very good price, and now have a very friendly relationship with my LBS - they are on my way to work and I stop in all the time - and am about to buy a new wheelset from them.

One other point - stick to YOUR price range. I picked the shop I go to as my personal LBS for many reasons, but they were the only one that did not try to sell me something that I might like but was not really what I was looking for - e.g. an aluminum frame when I knew I wanted carbon.

More good reasons to go to your LBS - if, like me, you are not an expert (or even semi-pro) bike mechanic that many on RBR are, you have a place to take your bike where ou have a relationship and where they care about it b/c they sold it to you and want to keep it in great shape - at least that is how my LBS works. You can't get that online or through a catalog. Last, at least at my LBS, and this continues to surprise me as I live in NYC, their prices are really competative with what I see on line and in the catalogs - other than for private labeled stuff.
first bikeDougfrippon
May 1, 2003 5:12 PM
Well my first idea was to buy the whole thing at a LBS. I guess I made the good choice. Especially because they will discount 20% on all the equipment I buy with the bike.

The only real thing that keeps me worried is that.. Because I ain't an expert I might not know if the bike has the good size and all, even if I try it for a few weeks. I'm not in shape, if my back hurts or something I won't blame the bike , I'll blame my own body.. :)
Thanks everyone!Dougfrippon
May 1, 2003 5:19 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for all those reply, I'm considering each of them.

The best LBS I around here sells Bianchi only. (The red bike I was mentionning in my post) I can't seem to find it on bianchi's website, I think it might be a 2002 model. But from what he told me the frame is the same frame bianchi uses on 2000$+ bikes. If I buy a bike there I get 20% discount on all equipment and they will take each of my body measurement to adjust the bike.

It might be very interesting to buy there. But it would be BIANCHI only. Witch BIANCHI models you guys suggest?
Thanks everyone!Dougfrippon
May 1, 2003 5:34 PM
I think the model I have been looking in that LBS is Bianchi VOLPE. What you think?